Alabaster - Carved Zuni Fetishes


Alabaster is a fine-grained translucent form of gypsum that is typically white. Although white can be most common, the mineral can come with shades of red and orange. Alabaster is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals, when used as a material, gypsum and calcite. In general, but not always, ancient stones in Egypt and the Near & Middle East are calcite, and in medieval Europe are gypsum. Modern stones are probably calcite, but may be either. Both are easy to 'work' and as both are slightly water-soluble, have been used for making a variety of indoor artworks and carvings, as they will not survive long outdoors.

Orange Alabaster - Zuni Fetish Orange Alabaster - Zuni Fetish

The gymsup variety of the mineral is soft enough to be scratched by fingernails, while the calcite variety of the mineral is slightly harder. Calcite stone does yield to knives and thus is a good medium for carving, and in our case for carved Zuni fetishes. You will often find that alabaster fetishes are accented with turquoise inlays for eyes or heart lines. It is mined in the Four Corners area in Colorado. It is not the most common mineral used in Zuni fetishes and thus adding this material to your collection is sure to give it a unique flourish.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published